Richard Dawkins

Evolutionary biologist and former Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, Oxford University

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins "has established himself as a biological guru" with the publication of books detailing and expanding upon Darwinian theory, according to Times Literary Supplement contributor Stephen R. L. Clark. Wired Magazine says this "Revolutionary Evolutionist" is "the first true ethologist of the gene". Richard Dawkins "has been concerned to convince the literate public that they must now take evolutionary theory seriously as the context within which to think about ourselves and the world," writes Clark "and he strives to bring his theories to an audience of lay readers through comprehensible analogies and clear writing."

Professor Richard Dawkins, the International Cosmos Prize winner for 1997, was the first holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science, a position which he held for ten years.

A graduate of Oxford, he studied under the Nobel-prize winning ethologist Niko Tinbergen. In 1967 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley, returning to Oxford in 1969. He became a Fellow of New College in1970, and retired in late 2008.

Professor Dawkins’s first book, The Selfish Gene (1976; second edition, 1989) became an immediate bestseller and has been translated into all major languages. Its more technical sequel, The Extended Phenotype, followed in 1982. The Blind Watchmaker (1986) won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the Los Angeles Times Prize, both in 1987. His other bestsellers include River Out of Eden (1995), Climbing Mount Improbable (1996), Unweaving the Rainbow (1998), A Devil’s Chaplain (2003) and The Ancestor’s Tale (2004). His most recent publication, The God Delusion (2006), has been a international bestseller and is translated into 45 languages. He is the editor of The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) which has been recognized as one of the Top 20 Books of 2008. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, was published in 2009, and his latest book The Magic of Reality, illustrated by Dave McKean, was published in September of 2011. He has lectured around the world, and has appeared in numerous television, radio, and media broadcasts. Of these, perhaps the most famous of which, are the1991 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

In addition to the International Cosmos Prize, Professor Dawkins’s awards have included the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London (1989), the Royal Society’s Michael Faraday Award (1990), the Nakayama Prize for Achievement in Human Science (1990), the Kistler Prize (2001), the Shakespeare Prize (2005), the TimeLife 100 Most Influential People (2007), the Lewis Thomas Prize (2007), Galaxy Award 2007 for Best Author and Audible Download Book of the Year (for The God Delusion) and the Karlheinz Deschner Award (2007) the same year he was honoured by Time Life as one of the 100 most influential people. He has Honorary Doctorates in both literature and science and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

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